I know this only came out a few weeks ago, and I’m sure this might split opinion, especially if you’re anti-New 52, but Batman #24 is one of the most flawlessly executed retellings of an origin I have ever read.
Anyone who reads Batman knew this issue was coming, and knew it could have gone either way. Most of us were fairly annoyed that our old favourite ‘Year One’ no longer fits into current continuity, and I honestly was dreading how ‘Zero Year’ was going to play out. Then, along comes issue #24 to completely set my mind at ease, and absolutely blow me away at the same time.
It’s a pivotal moment in Batman’s New 52 continuity, as a major scene in this issue deals with the creation of the Joker at the A.C.E. Chemical plant. At one point you feel like the mystery of the Joker’s identity is somewhat taken away, but writer Scott Snyder almost immediately re-plants the seed of ambiguity, leaving the reader to decide who they think it could be. If the story was told any differently to the one we are all familiar with, there might be an uproar, but Snyder managed to make it just different enough to keep it fresh, while still respecting the fans and the legacy of those who have told these stories so well before him. There are numerous little nods throughout the issue to various incarnations of Batman, from the 90’s animated series, to the 1966 TV show, to Tim Burton’s 1989 movie. It’s basically a 54-page love letter to Batman, from a writer who clearly loves and understands the character perfectly.
And the artwork! Good Lord! The artwork! Greg Capullo’s style is just gorgeous, and always strong. Some of the imagery in this issue genuinely raises a smile, and it’s almost possible to get lost in the art completely and stop reading the dialogue, and Rafael Albequerque’s work in the last 10 pages, although different in tone, is perfect for Batman in my opinion.
This is an issue I plan to pick up another copy of, because I know I am probably going to go back to it numerous times, until it likely falls apart. The page count means a higher than normal cover price, but Batman #24 is a comic book that is worth every single penny.
The writer of this piece was: Alan Shields aka (Al)
You can also find Al on Facebook